Best Cheap Eats in London – 2013

Bánh Mì Hoi-An, Hackney Central - DSC04383

To say I ate and drank well this year does not begin to describe how delectable 2013 was for me. Both in London and beyond, I had the pleasure of experiencing some of the best meals outside the home I’ve ever eaten. This was the year (for me anyway) that Peruvian proved itself to the British palate and that a real choice of decent pizza was made available across London. Elsewhere (mostly France and Italy), I enjoyed fabulous meals in a variety fantastic settings that still have me shaking my head in disbelief at how delicious life can be.

Listed below in alphabetical order are five London eateries where I have found it’s actually possible to enjoy a satisfying meal for £5 or less. Also listed are three honourable mentions that would fit perfectly with these budget friendly venues but are already appearing in other Best of 2013 lists. Keep an eye out for more posts over the coming days for listings of my favourite London pizza places as well as the ten best restaurants I visited outside of London this year. And be sure to read yesterday’s post for a list of my favourite London restaurants of the year. Please note, these ‘best of’ lists merely reflect how I chose to dine during 2013 and are comprised of well established and brand new venues as well as businesses that are local to me or somehow related to where work and play took me.

Here’s hoping 2014 is just as tasty as 2013 turned out to be.

Best Cheap Eats in London 2013

Criterion: filling meal for under £5

Bánh Mì Hoi-An
242 Graham Road, E8 1BP
Delicious takeaway banh mi and appreciative service at an outstanding price are the norm at this friendly little Vietnamese sandwich bar.

Happening Bagel Bakery
284A Seven Sisters Road, N4 2AA
Hand-rolled, boiled and baked as owner Isaac Cohen learned working at various bakeries across town, are these the best bagels in London?

Kamps
154-155 Tottenham Court Road, W1T 7NG
Come to this newly opened German backerei café for fresh baked goods, sandwiches and more – all at affordable prices and minus any hype.

Palm 2
152-156 Lower Clapton Road, E5 0QJ
Perhaps the greatest corner shop in all the world (or at least East London) – where the spinach and feta pancakes at £2.50 are a bargain of a fast and fairly healthy lunchtime option.

Pret a Manger
Outlets across London
No seriously. Pret’s Avocado & Herb Salad Wrap is one of the most consistently pleasing options for on-the-go eating in London. The three quid spent for one of these veggie wraps can sometimes led to a more satisfying dining experience than many meals costing more than three times the price.

Honourable Mentions (three London eateries already listed in other categories)

To read more about the above listed restaurants and all sorts of other great eateries in London and beyond, check out my blog’s Restaurants category.

About tikichris

London-Based Writer/Photographer
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4 Responses to Best Cheap Eats in London – 2013

  1. Charlotte says:

    I lived in Germany for a while and went to Kamps quite a few times. It’s not actually that cheap there, but I guess in London it would be. Takeaways can sometimes end up being cheaper (especially with offers on and the like) so here are some of the best on East London – http://hungryhouse.co.uk/blog/top-takeaways/london/east/

    • tikichris says:

      Thanks for your comment Charlotte. Only real criterium I had for the Best Cheap Eats was that (aside from being tasty) you could have a filling meal for under a fiver – quite a feat in London!

      What are some of your favourite budget friendly places?

      • Charlotte says:

        I’m a fan of Wetherspoons as they often have offers such as ‘beer and a burger’ or ‘beer and a curry’ as well as two meals for a certain amount. I was quite shocked at Pret a Manger being on the list, but then I remember I’d recently had one of their wraps and it did fill me up quite a bit 🙂

      • tikichris says:

        Well I can’t say I even considered Wetherspoons for my list but I guess it has its place. The pubs are certainly cheap! I think there are still a lot better options in most situations – even if you’re only trying to spend five quid or less.

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